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Drinking alcohol

To improve your body’s ability to cope with any future treatments, it is important you make sure you are drinking within the recommended limits, or lower than those limits.  Reducing the amount of alcohol will also help reduce the risk of accidents, further decreasing the demands on the already overstretched NHS.

Often people are not aware of the recommended alcohol limits.  If you drink most weeks, to keep health risks low, you are advised to:

  • not drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis (both men and women)
  • spread your drinking over three or more days if you regularly drink as much as 14 units a week
  • if you want to cut down, try to have several drink-free days each week

If you drink 14 units, that is equivalent to 6 pints of average-strength beer or 10 small glasses of low-strength wine.


Useful tips:

Eat before you drink alcohol

Did you know that alcohol will be absorbed more slowly when you eat a meal that includes protein and carbohydrates (eg chicken or pizza) before or whilst drinking?

Our Tip – If you think you’re drinking too much, set yourself the goal of only drinking when you’re eating.


Pace your drinks, put the glass down between each sip; take smaller sips

Have you noticed that if you hold on to your glass you tend to drink more?  Take small sips occasionally rather than gulping your drink. It takes about one hour (more for women) for your liver to process one standard drink.

Our Tip - Try using a smaller glass, dilute your alcoholic drinks or switch to a lower alcohol drink. You’ll reduce your alcohol intake without even realising it.


Measure your drinks and set a limit

Do you know how many standard drinks you are drinking? At home, pour a standard drink and compare that with what you are drinking.

Our Tip - Set yourself a limit about what you will drink on a particular day. That will be you taking control of the situation.


Useful resources:

Further help and support is available: 

Public Health Wales - How are you doing alcohol page (opens in a new tab) 

NHS - Alcohol support (opens in a new tab) 

Alcohol Change UK (Wales) - Help and support (opens in a new tab) 


There are also a range of mobile phone Apps available to download from Google Play (opens in a new tab) or the Apple App Store (opens in a new tab) - visit our Lifestyle Apps and resources page here (opens in a new tab)